The Welcoming Voice Speaks ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi


Read this article in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

From the rising of the sun in Haʻehaʻe to where it sets in Lehua, Hawaiʻi thrives on the mother tongue of this ʻāina, ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. While we celebrate Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi every February, it is certainly not enough time to truly normalize the use of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi in our communities, in our workplace, and beyond. However, within this challenge lies an opportunity. Our language truly lives when we insist on speaking it continuously. For those who are not fluent, we encourage continuous education in language to further these efforts. For the Native Hawaiian Hospitality (NaHHA), the resilience of our language is also intrinsically tied to its use in the visitor industry.

NaHHA encourages industry leaders, workers, and visitors to engage with the ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi resources at Learn the Pīʻāpā (Hawaiian alphabet) and practice pronunciation with Hakalama Drills. Use the Maʻemaʻe Toolkit as a guide to grow your knowledge of place, culture and language. Strengthen your ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi in our monthly classes offered at See how ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and the values of hospitality are reflected in our training, tools and resources.

As the living language of Hawaiʻi, we all have kuleana to ensure ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi continues to thrive. How do we expect our visitors to embody the values we desire if we do not present them by speaking our language? The aloha built into our hospitality lies in the humble voice that calls one to visit. It is a voice that must undoubtedly embrace ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.